As electronics companies struggle to appeal to consumers by greening up their products, Acer has taken a major step forward with its consumer notebooks, announcing the two new entries in its Timeline series—the Aspire 3811TX and 3811TZG—that not only carry Energy Star 5.0 certification, but are free of both polyvinykl chloride and brominated flame retardants. Removing those substances makes the computers easier on the environment when the reach the end of their usable lifespan and have to be recycled and disposed of, meaning fewer toxins get released into the environment.
Unfortunately, while Acer is touting the environmental friendliness of these two new computers, they haven’t released much in the way of specs. We anticipate that like other Timelines, the systems will feature slim and light form form factors and an emphasis on long battery life; typically, this means they’re built around CULV processors: not enough horsepower to be dominating gaming machines, but a distinct step up from a typical netbook. Timelines in a similar model range typically feature a 13.3-inch display with Intel GMA graphics, perhaps a 320 GB hard drive, 2 to 3 GB of RAM, and Windows 7. Other standard features include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, an integrated webcam, a multi-in-one media card reader, and gigabit Ethernet.
“The chemical characteristics of PVC and BFRs may generate toxic substances like dioxins and furans at products’ end-of-life, therefore, the reduction of PVC and BFRs in Acer products will help protect our environment from being poisoned by electronics goods,” Acer said in a statement. Unfortunately, the promise of a PVC- and BFR-free system doesn’t extend to the power cable—but every reduction in toxins helps, in the long run.